What plant is this? (KY)
August 26, 2012 5:02 PM   Subscribe

What plant is this?

Asking on behalf of a friend - none of us are botanists and we're all baffled. This picture was taken in Kentucky; it has a green stalk, large star-shaped leaves, and grew this tall over the course of a single summer. It doesn't resemble any other flora around. Any ideas, MeFites?
posted by wanderingmind to Home & Garden (8 answers total)
Castor bean!
posted by kirst27 at 5:05 PM on August 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

Yup. Castor oil plant. And um, don't eat the beans.
posted by likeso at 5:11 PM on August 26, 2012 [2 favorites]

Yep, that looks right. Thanks! Now - uh - given that the beans are toxic, is it worth worrying about? Should he be keeping pets away once the pods start to come in, or will it be fine to just let nature take its course with this?
posted by wanderingmind at 5:25 PM on August 26, 2012

Yes, keep pets away and/or strip off the pods as they come in. Bad stuff. BAD stuff.
posted by likeso at 5:29 PM on August 26, 2012

Yes, castor bean.

I am extremely lackadaisical about poisonous plants. Castor bean is one of the few (two?) I would pull up.
posted by purpleclover at 5:30 PM on August 26, 2012

Agreed. If the pets are young or at all prone to chewing plants, I'd rip it out.
posted by likeso at 5:32 PM on August 26, 2012

It is also known as Dogtick. Most animals won't bother with it. People in my area have grown them as long as I can remember. You can save the pods and plant them for more plants.
posted by speedy27 at 5:34 PM on August 26, 2012

I grow these all the time on purpose. Cat and dog don't bother them. Beautiful plant.
posted by Area Control at 10:43 AM on August 27, 2012

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